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Published: Wednesday, 7/19/2006

Juveniles break into vehicles at Swan Creek

Using park-supplied doggie bags filled with broken pieces of asphalt, a group of juveniles broke into vehicles in Swan Creek Metropark's Airport Highway parking lot Monday.

Toledo Area Metroparks police arrested two 13-year-old boys Monday after watching them break the window of a parked van. Three others escaped after officers gave chase, Detective Tom Gonzales said.

The boys, who were charged with delinquency in connection with fleeing and eluding police, were booked at the Lucas County Juvenile Detention Center.

They also face charges of delinquency in connection with theft from a motor vehicle and criminal damage.

A third boy, 14, was arrested shortly afterward on a felony warrant stemming from a previous burglary at the Swan Creek ranger office.

"Lately at Swan Creek, we've had a problem with juveniles," Detective Gonzales said.

Metroparks rangers often patrol the system's 11 parks and other lands, said spokesman Scott Carpenter. In June, authorities arrested six men on sex charges after conducting a sting operation in Secor Metropark.

Sting operations also have been conducted to thwart theft from vehicles, though Monday's arrest was a "spur-of-the-moment" thing, Detective Gonzales said.

The detective said park visitors should avoid leaving valuables in their vehicles. He said thieves often will watch visitors as they pull up to see if they tuck wallets under a seat or lock purses in trunks.

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